Time Out London's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,247 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Two Days, One Night
Lowest review score: 20 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
Score distribution:
1247 movie reviews
  1. A valuable document.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    As a bombastic insight into twenty-first-century sport, where even the weigh-in attracts a whooping sell-out crowd, the film has value. However, ultimately, it’s just another cog in the McGregor hype machine, settling for the chest-beating tone of a pre-fight press conference.
  2. If it's all a little too crowded with characters, Branagh’s pacy direction keeps the story zip along to a conclusion that’s tense even if you remember whodunnit.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It’s a family adventure that’s the right sort of heartwarming, delivering real human emotion through the medium of a small bear.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In Between is a great film. The performances are fantastic – as the gorgeous, headstrong Laila, Mouna Hawa is mesmerising. It’s not always uplifting but it is compassionate and intelligent.
  3. If anything, this doc reminds you that all relationships are strange, hopeful experiments in intimacy. And it’s that same hope the filmmakers lend to Dina and Scott’s story: you find yourself willing them along, wanting their marriage to work. You end up feeling honoured to have shared these special moments with them.
  4. Tonally, it might feel a bit like a ’70s Disney movie, but visually, it’s absolutely up to the minute.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The approach is pretty conventional, but the characters – from unassuming singer Ibrahim Ferrer to wonderfully glamorous Omara Portuondo – are so brilliant you’d struggle not to be swept up in it all.
  5. In short, the raw materials are there for a fun – if throwback – genre piece of the kind that kept ’90s cinema stocked with stiffs. Alas, the tension dissipates in a tangle of muddled subplots, sluggish pacing and some strange decisions from director Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). The result isn’t a Bone Collector, never mind a Se7en.
  6. It’s slightly frustrating that Winslet’s character Alex is nearly always the one who needs looking after, but the chemistry between them is good, the suspense sufficient and the ending gives you a gentle tug on the heartstrings.
  7. Una
    Much of the challenging discomfort of the play is replaced with the easier, quicker wins of revenge, sex and redemption. It remains a daring project ­– but you’re better off reading the play.
  8. Social media has never been so scary.
  9. Even Dench, while adeptly highlighting the vulnerabilities of age and the loneliness of power, can’t distract from the soft treatment, which leaves little room for the harsh realities of prejudice which must have made this a more painful and ugly chapter for many involved than this film ever dares suggest.
  10. This gets an extra point for an exciting action finale, but loses several for a hero who may try your patience well before then.
  11. This is Tavernier’s own film story so don’t expect a linear, full history of the cinema of the time. However, it’s anything but dry, as the film swoons with passion for Gallic films and filmmaking.
  12. Director Jung Byung-gil (‘Confessions of Murder’) combines a familiar but fun story with slick combat action, whether it’s in dark streets, seedy clubs or underwater.
  13. It’s full of sharp dialogue and entertaining characters and fuelled by a wryly enlightened view of our world and how it can be at once cruel and caring. For a story built on such dark foundations, it’s weirdly reassuring. It’s also enormous fun.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is a fun action adventure that resonates because it doesn’t glamorise everything. You feel a warmth after watching it, as there’s something in its depiction of imperfect, loving family relationships that stays with you.
  14. Nighy gives another suave masterclass, and the whole thing positively burns with passionate advocacy for the artists, free-thinkers and social outsiders who’ve been the making of modern London.
  15. Liman mines the story for familiar but fun comedy...though it never reaches the comedic heights of rise-and-fall classics such as Goodfellas or The Wolf of Wall Street.
  16. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is not exactly killing it, but coasts on the charisma of its central stars.
  17. Some accuse the filmmaker of being just like the politicians who turn up, look around and do nothing. It adds a confrontational edge to the film’s already startling combination of immersive aesthetics and humane empathy.
  18. A pleasure and an education.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    In its atmospheric soundscape, cinematography, taut characterisation and storytelling, this is a very involving genre thriller.
  19. The Wall isn’t a terrifically exciting thriller, but it’s thoughtful and fitfully suspenseful – a lean, character-driven and quietly rewarding film.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Recalling the provocative docu-fictions of Abbas Kiarostami and Jia Zhangke, Our Beloved Month of August offers meta-textual manna for adventurous cinemagoers while remaining exhilaratingly true to its sunny, provincial roots.
  20. Narrated entirely by its subject – no famous faces popping up to tell us what a ledge he is – the film is intimate and crisply told.
  21. The action is the attraction. If that means some of the film feels a little distant and chilly, it’s in the admirable service of avoiding simplistic drama or easy sentiment.
  22. The film is let down by thin characterisation, struggling to generate much empathy with its square-jawed, tough-yet-troubled special-forces warrior heroes.
  23. The painterly camerawork shows the sheer sophistication possible these days with digital technology. The only conventional note in a highly distinctive film touched with wry humour is the too-safe choice of a Mozart music cue.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    While MacLaine and Seyfried do the best with what they’ve got, The Last Word is pedestrian and predictable. It is harmless, though, too. You won’t believe a single minute of it, but you might, despite better judgement, find yourself caring by the end.
  24. Not much happens in The Midwife, but its depth and texture make this a moving film about families, time passing and shared history – and the handful of scenes in the maternity unit where Claire works, five or six little miracles of birth, somehow add to its sense of a life as mysterious and precious.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Fleischer handles a heavy script and most of the acting like no one should handle a melon; but he really soars into competence at moments of tension, car chases, and general cinematic escapism.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Attenborough's very traditional biopic is a disappointment. Downey has captured the idealism and the melancholy, but not the sentimentality of the comic.
  25. There’s nothing here that works.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    So duff that you wonder why they didn't ask Roger Moore to star.
  26. A wishy-washy, sanctimonious plea for tolerance, directed with Kramer's customary verbosity and stodginess.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's impossible to deny the virtuosity of his non-stop delivery, but the relentless macho onslaught sadly lacks the saving grace of Richard Pryor's self-irony. Even if Murphy doesn't mean what he says (and he probably does), laughs are forestalled by the feeling that it's all too mechanically manipulative.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's very silly, of course, but Hanks' fine timing is matched by a strong supporting cast, and thanks to Dante's wicked, comic-strip view of the world, the movie achieves an admirably wacky consistency as it debunks American mores and movie clichés, from Hitchcock and Leone to Michael Winner and Tobe Hooper.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The characterisation is paper thin, and Landis' timing as sloppy as ever; but if you enjoy brainless slapstick that allows space for irrelvant absurdities like a singing bush and an invisible swordsman, it's entertaining enough.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Aside from a good exchange rate of one-liners, the chief feeling left by the movie (a remake of Claude Berri's Un Moment d'Egarement) is of a thin, cynical calculation. Sole reason to catch it would be to monitor one more step of Caine's increasing excellence as middle age overtakes him.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Striking an effective balance between suspenseful intrigue and wacky humour, director Marshall handles both the spy-jinks and Goldberg's eccentric antics with confident panache. There are occasions when Goldberg does rather too much, arresting the action by lapsing into stand-up comic routines; fortunately, the plot soon regains its brisk momentum.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Richter's comic genre hybrid comes complete with its own mythology, and team of established superheroes, and is curiously appealing.
  27. As a portrait of power gained and lost, of unchecked self-absorption and what drives people like Assange to do what they do, it’s absolutely fascinating. Watching it feels like history unfolding in close-up.
  28. The filmmaking is solid, the performances strong and the tunes are pretty terrific. But this is too wary of controversy – and too ‘respectful’ of the fans – to treat its subject to the hard-headed analysis Tupac’s legacy deserves.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This captivating drama exists on another level: the devastating ending left me sobbing.
  29. Despicable Me 3 suffers both from a lack of new ideas – there are no memorable gags or action set-pieces, just a lot of flying about and yelling – and from an assumption that the audience is already invested enough to care about what happens.
  30. The whole thing is boring and phony, with just a couple of lines of dialogue that feel sharp.
  31. Some prior interest in Berger would help, but even newcomers should find this an infectious portrait of independent thought and living.
  32. This is an unapologetically fluffy film that never digs deep into its characters’ lives. Its pleasures are patchy. Keaton offers an endearing performance, even if her chemistry with Gleeson (not on top form) is weirdly lacking.
  33. All in all, a most unlikeable film.
  34. This is a provocative, intelligent movie for those with a strong emotional constitution.
  35. The mix of fact and fiction is a little confusing, but a strong sense of warm enquiry pulls it through.
  36. There’s nothing to really hate about Rock Dog, just a creeping sense that – from the writers to the animators to the voice cast – no one’s really put much effort in.
  37. Cox is rudely magnificent, capturing not just the wilfulness of the man but the nagging self-doubt at his inner core. But the film is just too bloodless to be fully convincing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    At least there’s plenty from Whitney herself in incredibly poignant TV interviews where she talks about her struggles with fame and addiction.
  38. The result, despite an uncertain start, is in the end a surprisingly intriguing and affecting movie.
  39. The film’s bouts of slapstick and sentiment sit slightly oddly with its downbeat tone, but if Wilson isn’t entirely consistent as a character, Harrelson is consistently funny – and if anyone can make a sociable misanthrope believable, he can.
  40. The film isn’t perfect. It’s slightly too long and drifts a bit in the middle. But the final showdown left me in a cold sweat.
  41. This is a fresh and un-stuffy period drama mostly, but it could have done with a pinch more danger.
  42. The film also touches on Bell’s work for the British government, drawing up the boundaries of Iraq after WWI – which was to have consequences still felt today.
  43. The result is just a bit cringey.
  44. Kore-eda’s insight is so unflinching, his affection for his characters so intimate and sure, that not a moment here feels wasted.
  45. This really is Wonder Woman coming to the rescue of the DC Comics universe.
  46. A messy, troubling and strangely enjoyable film.
  47. For the first hour, this is masterful slow-burn melodrama, eking out the details of John’s crime and playing expertly with our sympathies. But as ambiguity is stripped away the film becomes less interesting, and the finale is weak.
  48. As storytelling, it’s pristine: it moves like a reptile playing the long game. But its cruelty is tough to bear.
  49. There’s great energy to this film: quick dialogue, snappy performances and a lived-in feel make us quickly believe this world, its characters and their hang-ups.
  50. It ends up as a sweet-enough movie, and one that’s full of joy and invention – but also one that feels like a lot of effort has been put into serving a tale that maybe doesn’t fully deserve it.
  51. All in all, ‘Madame Bovary’ is quite something, gradually building to a jawdropping final scene. Anyone with an interest in Chinese arthouse cinema really needs to see this.
  52. It’s a deeply humane film, as well as a quietly hilarious one.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Unfortunately for everyone, Captain Jack Sparrow is still slurring and staggering around the Caribbean. Whatever charm and charisma Johnny Depp once had in this role is well and truly lost at sea.
  53. It’s all a bit heavy-handed at times, but this is a sweet story honestly told.
  54. The creature effects are charming.... But the pig-chasing antics and cartoonish corporate nastiness that dominate much of the film become seriously grating.
  55. So the cast is talented, the director has a decent track record and of course ‘The Secret Scripture’ looks pretty, in a picture-postcard sort of way. But the script is painful, not just horribly clichéd but trite, directionless and unaccountably pleased with itself.
  56. Thorncroft is a gem of comedy creation – played to perfection by Barratt.
  57. Kooler is a very likeable lead, and Michal’s battles – with loneliness, ageing, family, religious doubt and her own indecision – are smartly, sympathetically sketched by writer-director Rama Burshtein.
  58. Too much of the humour derives from Emily’s insatiable appetite for booze, food and sex, while the central mother-daughter relationship is predictable.
  59. A somewhat dour, slightly clenched viewing experience perhaps, but delivered with admirable insight, control, and nuanced subtlety by all concerned. It stays in the mind long afterwards.
  60. Frantz is a slightly over-polite and overly careful, and the black and white palette is unappealingly washed out – more like a collection of greys. But the sense of festering postwar anger and pain is strong, and there are intriguing questions here.
  61. Really, this is David/Walter’s show. For reasons too spoilery to give away, Fassbender is electric, giving a spectacularly skin-crawling performance.
  62. Directed by Gillies MacKinnon, this new version lacks the mischief of the original and feels like a sluggish museum piece.
  63. This low-rent ‘Bourne’ clone has been sitting on the shelf for two years now, which explains why there’s a photo of Barack Obama still hanging above the CIA director’s desk. It might also explain why Unlocked feels so choppy and uneven, like it needed a lot of knocking about in the editing room.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It has the power to tug at your heartstrings like a puppy at a postman’s trouser leg. But ultimately its message is muddled and manipulative rather than meaningful.
  64. The crude good-girl/bad-girl dynamic between its young leads is just one of many crass elements in this woolly, well-meaning but fatally unconvincing melodrama.
  65. The medical side of things is shown in documentary detail, and it’s fascinating.
  66. Newcomer Florence Pugh is like a lightning bolt, totally electric as Katherine, who’s up there with Madame Bovary or Anna Karenina in the literary heroine stakes.
  67. The characters are still fun to be around, the one-liners are still sharp...and the soundtrack is, of course, terrific. But there are only so many times you can slap on a Fleetwood Mac toe-tapper and expect it to paper over the cracks.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The cautious chemistry between the three characters means the atmosphere is never less than taut, and it provides the perfect launchpad for a tense, poignant finale that marks Fingleton out as a name to watch.
  68. This is a valuable companion piece to other accounts and a vivid collage of in-the-moment imagery.
  69. Crisply photographed, thoughtfully plotted and sharply soundtracked, The Transfiguration is a solid slice of US indie horror.
  70. The story is fictional, yet it builds up a chastening picture of divisive separate political and religious agendas holding sway over common humanity, and leading the country deeper into chaos. A striking, tough-minded achievement.
  71. It’s an authentic celebration of the timeless delights of country bike rides and skimming stones. Absolutely lovely.
  72. But while she's thoroughly committed to serving both the rom and the com (the film is genuinely sweet, and at times very funny) Scherfig somehow never falls into any of the obvious traps.
  73. Overlong but slick, this still gets away with simplistic dialogue and characters, perhaps because it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
  74. City of Tiny Lights is always entertaining, and proves a great excuse for Ahmed to confirm his newly minted matinee-idol status. If only it had the confidence to shrug off its influences and do its own thing.
  75. Overall, there’s a sense that ‘Fast and Furious 8’ knows exactly where it wants to go and won’t bust a gasket getting there: you might ask for a little more character work here, a few more plot surprises there, but on the whole this rattles along just fine.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s a frank and moving exploration of family, faith and the conflict between cultures and generations.
  76. The gags here ought to have been put out of their misery and the we’re-all-in-it-together bonding between the kooks of table 19 is just painful.
  77. The Boss Baby is one of those snarky, post ‘Shrek’ cartoons that desperately wants to appeal to parents as well as kids, but its snappy, pop-culture-referencing script feels workshopped to death.

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